'Call Me Bwana'
(Bob Hope, Anita Ekberg, Edie Adams, et al / DVD / NR / 2011 / MGM)
Overview: Laugh along with this breezy comedy as Bob Hope heads for the African Jungle where he finds himself on an outrageous safari with elephants, hippos, and ... spies? Co-stars Anita Ekberg and Edie Adams.
DVD Verdict: 'Call Me Bwana' is out now as part of MGM's "Limited Edition Collection," which is available from select online retailers and manufactured only when the DVD is ordered. The DVD features a simple menu with no menu for chapters or scenes. Manufacture-On-Demand (Mod) DVDs are made to play in DVD playback units only and may not play in DVD recorders or PC drives.
OK, the basic plot line here is that an U.S. Capsule has returned from the moon and inadvertently landed in Africa. Naturally the president only wants the most knowledgeable and brave explorer to retrieve it before others claim salvage rights, Matthew Merriweather (Bob Hope).
Of course, another leader wants in on claiming the capsule and sends a noted anthropologist (Anita Ekberg) to use Merriweather to obtain the prize. But, in reality, Matthew has never been to Africa. His book is a rehash of his uncle's adventures and it all soon unravels from there!
Largely set in Africa, did you know that the film was originally intended to be shot entirely on location in Kenya. But the problems of the Mau Mau Uprising led the producers to only have second unit cinematography led by John Coquillon.
Also, it is the only film made by EON Productions which is not about the Ian Fleming spy character, James Bond and was made by most of the same film crew as Dr. No.!
Anyway, moving on, and as you'd expect, 'Call Me Bwana' is the usual Hope silliness. Our hero battles lions, elephants, and the wily advances of Ekberg! Personally, I love Ezra's character (Lionel Jeffries), who along with Luba are, as it turns out, Soviet agents (oops, sorry, Spoiler Alert!).
Anywaym sure it's all highly predictable, but wonderful fun too! I mean, with all the amusing sexual situations occuring every couple of minutes, inclusive of Merriwether's near seduction of both women, only he can keep getting interrupted by extraordinary events, trust me! This is a Full Screen presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.